The year is winding down, but the Friday Five is still going strong. This week, we were inspired by rockers young and old, a stirring documentary, and some truly unbelievable stunts. Whether you're looking for fast-paced action or a slow-burn watch, Volume 102 has it all.
Travis Pastrana Gymkhana 2022
We love watching extreme sports athletes push the limits with gravity-defying (and death-defying) stunts, and perhaps no one loves to test the boundaries more than Travis Pastrana. The stunt performer and motorsport athlete teamed up with frequent Friday Five residents Hoonigans to give us a Gymkhana video to remember. Pastrana spends the video driving a tricked-out Subaru wagon, tearing up the streets, bridges, and waterways of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. It's hard to pick out the craziest stunt of the video, because there are a lot of worthwhile contenders. Our money is probably on Pastrana jumping a car *over* a hovering helicopter, but again, there is a lot to choose from. Maybe your favorite moment is when Pastrana grinds his car along a railing like a skateboard. Or maybe you prefer him hitting a jump at 165 MPH. You can make a case for pretty much any of the stunts involved. And at the end of all this risk-taking, Pastrana filmed a parody commercial selling used (and "Travis approved") Subarus. The Gymkhana videos are always must-watch events, but Travis Pastrana managed to raise the bar with his Tour de Florida.
The Sheepdogs - Outta Sight
Once you've watched Pastrana shred from behind the wheel, you need to listen to The Sheepdogs shredding on guitar. Our musical selection this week sends us back in time by wearing their 70's-rock influences on their sleeves. Listening to The Sheepdogs means you get bits and pieces of The Allman Brothers, Foreigner, .38 Special, and Led Zeppelin -- to name a few. We were already in on The Sheepdogs' latest record Outta Sight, and then we saw them perform live in LA this week, and it really blew us away. Starting with the opening guitar riff on "Here I Am" the Canadian band delivers an album full of unapologetically old school rock n roll. You'll be tapping your feet and bobbing your head in no time, even if you can't quite sing along. And don't get us started on the absolutely face-melting guitar solos that accompany most of their tracks. There's something so familiar about The Sheepdogs, but it doesn't feel like they're ripping everyone off -- they just put all their influences into a blender, and their distinct sound came out the other side. It's fun, and it really grooves. And don't stop your listening once you get through "Roughrider '89," their ode to the 1989 Canadian Football League champions. Definitely make your way through The Sheepdogs full catalog, because they've got a lot of jams.
Elton John Farewell from Dodger Stadium
The Sheepdogs might be under-the-radar rockers, but there is nothing under-the-radar about Elton John. He's one of the most iconic rockstars of all-time, and at 75, he just wrapped up his final US tour. Lucky for us, Disney decided to livestream his final performance at Dodger Stadium, and the whole show now lives on Disney+. Few artists are as universally known as Sir Elton, and his music has been a central part of our culture for decades. While some legendary performers have really started to show their age, the Rocket Man still puts on an incredible show, and now it's available from the comfort of your living room. On top of the stirring show, the quality and production value of the recording is really something. Nothing can replicate being in Dodger Stadium for that night -- but you certainly don't lose a whole lot musically. The setlist definitely lived up to expectations, too, as the show kicked off with "Bennie and the Jets" and the hits just kept on rolling. Whether you just want to see one last live rendition of "Tiny Dancer" or you want to fully experience the whole show, it is worth heading on over to Disney+ to check it all out.
While Robert Downey, Jr. is one of the world's most well-known actors, his father was perhaps just as important to the world of filmmaking, yet received far less attention. Now, his father takes front-and-center in a new documentary on Netflix called Sr. The project is incredibly ambitious, and is a pretty experimental take on the form. While Downey Jr. attempted to make the documentary on his father's life and career, Sr. wasn't having any of it. So he brought in his own film crew to document the process. The project also took a turn due to both COVID-19 as well as Sr.'s battle with Parkinson's Disease, which eventually led to his death. Sr. is so much more than a tribute to an important counter-culture filmmaker -- it's a pretty portrait of a father and son. The documentary is already getting a lot of much-deserved critical acclaim, and could be a factor on the awards circuit. But, more importantly, it tells a pretty powerful story -- and introduces the general public to a hugely influential filmmaker that inspired modern-day directors like Paul Thomas Anderson.
Welcome to Chippendales
Welcome to Chippendales also tells the story about a lesser-known, influential figure in the entertainment industry -- though it is far more salacious, and certainly not a documentary. Kumail Nanjiani leads the series as the founder of the iconic male strip joint, but he's far from the only star on the cast. Murray Bartlett, who most recently made waves on Season 1 of White Lotus, and Juliette Lewis also co-star, along with a stellar crew of supporting actors. Welcome to Chippendales is just the latest in a recent string of biopic-esque limited series, and shares a lot of DNA with Pam & Tommy -- which makes sense, because they are from the same creator. Robert Siegel, who honed his craft working for The Onion before getting into film and TV, keeps his hot streak going with this dramatic origin story that we didn't know we needed. For us, Chippendales really only evokes images of the famous Chris Farley/Patrick Swayze SNL sketch, but clearly there was so much more to the brand. Now, Hulu is showing the world that story.